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,hlOS I 

The \\ alters Art Galler>% one of the show-places 
ol tiaStimore. This fine marble interior is built of 
marble from the quarries of Washington County 
Man-land. Delano and Aldrich. of New York 
were the Architects. 


A number of specimens of the versatile work of 
this organization areshownon pages iq to 43 




" HE foundation stones of the Hilgartner Mar- 
. ble Company were laid by Ludwig Hilgartner, 
who was a native of Germany, but im- 
■ migrated to this country in 1851 at the age 
of nineteen. After his advent, he worked at his trade 
of marble cutter for a number of years. In 1861 he 
formed a partnership for the carrying on of the monu- 
mental stone business. This partnership continued 
until 1873, at which time he determined to go in busi- 
ness for himself. 

He built a modest plant at 714 West Baltimore 
Street, a location at the time very suitable for his 
business, as it was central enough to make his display 
room of real value. A few^ years later, his oldest son, 
Charles L. Hilgartner, followed in the footsteps of 
his father by beginning at the first rung of the lad- 
der, becoming a marble-cutter in the mill. He rapidly 

went through all the de- 
partments of the business. 
The second son, Andrew, 
did likewise, and it was but 
natural that, in 1885, a 
partnership should be 
formed under the name of 
L. Hilgartner and Sons. 
This partnership contin- 
ued until the death of the 
father, Ludwig Hilgartner, 
in 1902. 

Our First Shop. In the meantime, as the 




business grew, the lack of a railroad siding pf^> 
serious handicap, and the company was forced t< 
' iicnt to - '^ ' ^ 

: a mill 
foot of bharp ^>creet and the Baltimore and Ohio 
P ' 1 The mor " -• ' rkshop. hour • is 
»cd at the and was ^ J 

until 1910, when a more pretentious show-room was 

opened- - iu\ mam sh . . .i i 

fares. N Ar 

monumcniai n < ' ! 

fcrrc ^ • -^c Shiof, 
a SI t<^» a I 

entire city i 

partnership known as L. Hilgartner and Sons was dis- 
solved and the business was incorporated under the 
name of the Hilgartner Marble Company. In 1914 
Andrew Hilgartner died. Fortunately the business, 
being a corporation, continued to function without in- 
terruption. The two sons of Charles L. Hilgartner, 
Charles E., and Andrew H., entered the business in 
course of time. The former died in 1925, after a service 
of fifteen years with the company. The present officers 
include, of the original incorporators, Charles L. Hil- 
gartner, the oldest son of the original founder : and his 
son, Andrew H. Hilgartner, Vice-President and Treas- 

It is interesting to note the changes that came about 
in the marble industry during the past half-century. 
About 1 880 the use of marble as tops for furniture sprang 
into vogue, and so heavy was the demand that the sales 
increased monthly. Many thousands of these tops 
were shipped to all parts of the United States. How- 
ever, the demand suddenly ceased, almost overnight, as 
is the case with most fads. It seemed for a time that the 
business was due for a period of depression, when a new 
use for marble sprang up just as suddenly as the other 
had died. There had been developing a national interest 
in sanitation, and marble had become recognized as a 
material in building construction which met all the re- 
quirements of hygiene. This recognition crystallized 
into a demand for marble washstands and for many 
years the marble mills were never quite able to meet 
the public need. 

When enamel and porcelain ware gradually found 
favor, the call for marble washstands lessened consider- 
ably. In the meantime, however, the use of marble for 
floors, walls, stairways, and as a decorative material 
for the interiors of buildings, had gained in popularity — 


l^^^gpECHNICALLY marble is a rock made up 
/7 1^ ' chiefly of crystalline particles of calcite or 
ur i ■ dolomite, or both. Commercially, marble in- 
f ' ^ eludes a number of stones that do not come 
within the confines of this definition. Perhaps a better 
definition would be that advanced by Renwick in his 
book on Marble and Marble Working: "Marble is any 
natural stone that is of less hardness than granite, that 
is sufficiently close of texture to take and retain a 
polished face, and produced in sufficient quantity as to 
be available." This would admit such stones as Verde 
Antique, Onyx, Travertine, Sodalite, Chrome Schist 
and Alabaster. Of these, Verde Antique is by far the 
most important, at least in the United States. Its pre- 
dominant and necessary constituent is serpentine, a 
hydrous silicate of magnesium. 

The majority of our commercial marbles are calcitic 
or dolomitic, and are believed to owe their origin to 
calcareous deposits upon the bottom of the sea, in 
relatively shallow water. These deposits were formed 
by the shells of the myriads of microscopic organisms 
that exist near the surface of the sea. When first laid 
down, these sedimentary deposits were originally hori- 
zontal ; if existing conditions had not changed, they 
might have increased indefinitely, both in size and 
thickness. The crust of the earth, however, was very 
unstable and underwent great changes. The clear seas 
that teemed with countless lime-producing animals be- 
came muddy and deposited sand, gravel and clay. The 
earth constantly lost heat and contracted. The lateral 
pressure thereby set up, increasingly powerful, raised 
the horizontal beds slowly above the surface of the 
ocean. These forces were sufficient to consolidate the 

calcareous deposits, to bend, crumple, fold and tilt and 
overturn tlnem, and even break tinem into pieces and re- 
consolidate them. 

While marble forms but a small percentage of the 
crust of the earth, its actual quantitv is enormous; as 
It is widely distributed, there is no danger of the available 
supply ever being exhausted. It is onlv the great cost 
and risk of development that make marble more expen- 
sive than some other materials. After coming through all 
the convulsions of the earths crust, after being folded 
tilted and ruptured by these movements, acted on by 
weather, and eroded by glaciers, it is a matter of 
N^onder that any deposits of marble are ever sound 
enough to yield blocks large enough for commercial use 
furthermore, the development of a quarrv usuallv en- 
tails the removal of a mass of overlying material, as well 
as the discarding of unsound marble, so that even after 
a productive stage is reached, the operations rarely 
yield as much as 60 per cent of good marble, and often 
not more than 20 per cent. Below this vield, the quarrv 
IS not likely to be a financial success. 

The marble producer has his greatest trouble with 
what the geologist calls •joints," which are cracks found 
myariably ,n all rocks. These joints, while not coming 
with any regularity, usually appear at right angles to 
each other and to the bedding planes of the marble. The 
cracks that bother the quarryman are not those, as a 
ru^e hat anyone can see. The inexperienced observer 

m^si f h 'r r^'"" '^"^ '" " ^^'^^' he would even 
W '^"^ '" '^' ^^*" '^^^' 'hev do show, 

unsLn i ^' '"'"" ^"l^' "'"■'''<-' *^ •^""^'^^J' ^" that ,f no 
unsoundness ,s visible ,n a polished piece of marble, 
tnerc arc none there 

1 he best wa> to test the soundness of marble when 
^^u^,ng It ether ,n the form of Nocks or unfinished slabs 




Matched panc!"^ (^t bkyros (^Urcck* marble 

is to drench the material thoroughly with water. This 
brings out clearly both cracks and color. Fortunately, 
the marble producer usually develops all of the defects 
as well as all of the qualities of his stone before offering 
it for sale, and is usually the first to point out any 
defects to the customer. He knows that that is essential if 
he expects to hold his trade. 

Colors are due to various constituents. Black and 
gray shades come from carbon; red, pink and reddish 
brown are due to the presence of either manganese 
oxides or hematite; yellowish and creamy tones are 
mostly caused by hydrous oxides of iron. Dale says the 
green color of certain Vermont marbles comes from the 
presence of fibrous potash mica, and the purplish tint of 
one of the dolomites of the Lake Champlain region from 
a mixture of hematite and magnetite. Siderite gives a 
buff color to some Vermont dolomites, and chrome- 
mica causes green bands in some Colorado marbles. 



HEX blocks of marble first come into our 
plant, they are placed in our general stock. 
The illustration on page 13 shows a part of 

our storage yard, filled with blocks of all 

sizes. A huge traveling crane picks these up and carries 
them to the sawing department. These marbles are 
brought from all parts of the world — from Italy, France 
and Belgium; from England, Germany and Norway; 
from Africa and South America; and from many parts 
of the United States and Canada. Some are for specific 
orders, ready to be filled; others are for general use, so 
that we may be prepared to fill orders without delay. 

The marble blocks are of all shapes and dimensions, 
and the first step in preparing them for use is to cut 
them into sizes best adapted to the purpose for which 
they are intended. This cutting is accomplished by 
means of either circular, gang or w ire saws. The last 
mentioned is used for ripping up thick stock and it con- 
sists of a long cable of three wires twisted together. 
forming one wire about one-quarter inch in diameter. 
This cable runs around a succession of grooved w heels, 
that can be raised or lowered as desired — or otherwise 
adjusted; the tension is controlled at one point on the 
line, by means of w eights. Sexeral blocks of marble may 
be sawed at the same time, the wire being set to run 
over and on top of the blocks. Sand and water are (cd 
to the w ire at the point where it first touches the block. 
The saw . running at a moderate speed, will cut through 
stone w ith surprising quickness. The illustration at the 
bottom of page 1 3 shcAvs one of th( <c m;Khincs at work 
in our open yard. 


General view of yards showing part of stock 
of rough blocks always carried on hand. 

Wire saw at work cutting marble. 


The &-foot gang sau shown abo\c i^ one of twelve in our sawmill 

in Baltimore It is because of just such thorough equipment that 

this company is enabled to accept important contracts 

wherein time, as well as skill, is an important element. 

Where a number of parallel cuts are to be made 
through a block or through a number of pieces that to- 
gether form a block, there is no cutting method in use 
that is more practical than the gang saw. Such a ma- 
chine is shown abo\e. It is made of a heavy steel frame 
in which are placed, at definite intervals, bands of 
steel drawn rigid, which act as the cutting blades. This 
frame is set with saw blades in contact with the top 
surface of the marble block and is then "shuffled" back 
and forth by mechanical power, while a stream of 



The diamond saw is used for cutting marble into large 
rectangular pieces and for making irregular and oblique 
cuts; it is a necessary accessory of a properly equipped 
marble mill. One is shown in the picture on page 17 
at the extreme rear of the building just beyond the 
horizontal fluted column. These saws consist of circular 
steel plates carrying on their edges a series of steel teeth 
in each of w^hich is set from one to three diamonds. The 
cutting speed is much greated than with either gang or 
wire saws, as the diamonds eat their way through the 
material with remarkable speed. 

After coming from the saws, the slabs are coped, 
rubbed and polished. The method of transportation is 
by means of trucks and platforms specially constructed 
for ease and rapidity of handling. One of these is shown 
at the bottom of page 17. The trucks have hydraulic 
lifts controlled by hand levers; the platforms are sep- 
arate, sturdy and movable. By running the trucks 
underneath these platforms, the latter may be lifted 
along with their loads from off the floor and borne 
about the plant from point to point. In order to secure 
satisfactory operation of these trucks it is necessar\- 
to have smooth but tough floor surfaces. All our floors 
are of concrete, kept in thcjrough repair. Moreover, a 
clean shop is insisted upon at all times, to speed up this 
local transportation and increase the general efficicncN' 
of our plant. 

White and Tennessee marbles arc coped b\' pneu- 
matic air tools to an approximate size onKv, w ith rather 
rough edges. The fanc\ marbles, more brittle and un- 
sound, are coped to exact size on a carborundum ma- 
chine, such as is shown on page 18. This machine is 
also known as a gang coper, because extra saws can be 
inserted at distances determined by the w idths desired, 
and man\' strips cut at the same time. The cutting 


Transporting slabs from one machine to 
another by means of a hydraulic truck. 


A carborundum coping machine. 

is done by discs of carborundum, revolving rapidly. The 
marble is placed in position on the table beneath the 
disc, and automatically fed against it. For cutting slabs 
into tiles, this machine is especially useful. 

An even larger coper, really a combination machine, 
having a cross-cut head, which cuts the marble into de- 
sired lengths, is shown on page iq. It is especially 
adapted for cutting large slabs to exact size both in 
width and length, without moving the slab after once 
it is placed on the machine. In cutting lengthwise the 
table bed moves; in cutting crosswise only the cross- 
head moves. This method eliminates an extra handling 

of slabs, resulting in a twofold economy. Not only is 
one of the costs of finishing reduced, but the ha;:ard of 
breakage is lessened. 

After coping, all materials must be faced on the 
rubbing beds, and given a sand finish. This applies 
whether they are intended for floor work or for standing 
marble. In the latter case, they are given a honed or 
polished finish afterwards. 

The rubbing bed not only effects a sand finish, but 
brings the material to the exact thickness required. 
Illustration on page 20 gives an excellent idea of the 
process. It is one of eight such machines in our plant. 
The bed itself is a cast-iron disc varying in size from 
10 up to 14 feet in diameter. This disc revolves in a 
horizontal position. The surface of the disc is kept 
smooth and true by grinding it down occasionally with 
iron weights. When the slabs are placed on this rubbing 


A combination coping machine with crossncut head. 

One of our large rubbing beds 

bed, the abrasion is effected by the weight of the marble 
itself with the addition of sand and water fed auto- 

After the slabs come off the rubbing bed, the>' go to 
the honing and polishing department. The illustration 
on page 21 shows only a corner of this department. 
Here we have seventeen machines, hal f of them equipped 
with iron discs inset with carborundum blocks, and the 
other half equipped with felt buffers. The slabs go first 
to those having carborundum blocks, which are caused 
to revolve over the surface of the marble, while a 
stream of water runs onto the slab through the center 
of the shaft holding the disc. This operation results in 
a hone finish, which is a ^•ery smooth surface also knoxxn 
as a satin finish. 

A confusion exists in some quarters as to what is a 
dull or satin finish and what is a polished finish A dull 
polish IS not really a polish at all, since no buffing has 

been done. For a real polish the slabs must go to the 
machines equipped with the felt buffers. Here a very 
small quantity of water is used, merely enough to 
dampen the chemicals that are used with the buffer. 
The heat caused by the friction of the felt buffer re- 
volving against the slab, in conjunction with the action 
of the chemicals, causes the polish. 

This method for honing and polishing is applied only 
to slabs of uninterrupted flat surfaces. For curved or 
irregular surfaces, the polishing is done by hand. 

The polishing of fluted columns and moulded work is 
also done in this manner. Columns that are not fluted 
have a special treatment. They are first gritted by sand 
stone while revolving in a lathe, then honed and pol- 
ished. These three operations are all done while the 
marble column revolves in a lathe. 

When it is desired to shape marble into mouldings, 
etc., the carborundum moulding machine is employed. 



Buffing and polishing machines A honing machine is shu 
in the right foreground. 

Moulding a trim with a carborundum moulding machine. 

This shaping and finishing is accomplished by a wheel of 
carborundum, shaped the reverse of the detail desired, 
revolving rapidly against the marble, which is fastened 
to the table and is moved against the wheel. The 
illustration above shows a moulding machine shaping 
a slab to the proper design. 

After this operation, these mouldings go to the fitting 
department where the pieces are laid together in con- 
tinuous stretches in the order in which they will event- 

A monolithic column 17 teet b inches long 
being fluted on one of our machines. 

^ MMM 


View of carving depar' n a m 1 he bell-shaped 

urn of Belgian Black marble is one of a pair 

in the War Memorial Building, Baltimore. 


ually be installed in the building. They are then rubbed 
at the joints, in order to secure a perfect alignment of 
the various members of the mouldings. After precision 
of fit is assured, the pieces are then honed and polished 
in the usual way. 

On page 23 is shown one of our machines for fluting 
monolithic columns. This particular column was 17 
feet 6 inches in length and the operation was rendered 
doubly difficult because the column had an entasis. The 
carborundum cutting wheel has the re\'erse shape of the 
flutes, and the operation is similar to that described 
above for fabricating mouldings. 

The entire plant is electrically equipped throughout. 
We have, in fact, our own substation for reducing the 
central power company's current from high to low 
voltage. Each machine is driven by a separate motor, 
insuring freedom from any serious tie-up on account of 
belt breakage or motor trouble. All the pneumatic air 
tools are driven by air, compressed in our own plant. 

However, there is one factor that enters largely into 
the successful handling of a marble contract, and it is a 
factor that is too often overlooked. We refer to the 
personnel of the plant — the employees who operate the 
various machines and whose ability is responsible for 
the accuracy of the work turned out. These men are 
not mere workers. They are artisans, mostly with years 
of experience and family traditions back of them. Their 
fathers before them were marble craftsmen. Some of 
our men have been with us as long as fifty years. They 
take a proper pride in their skill and despise shoddy 
work. The fact that such a large proportion of our force 
is made up of such men is assurance of our ability to 
give more than satisfactory service. 

Detailed plans are worked up and designs 
originated in this section of our drafting 

Part of our clerical force at work 
in our main office. 



^^X 1922 it was decided to establish a western 
plant. Los -Angeles, California, was chosen 
as the most desirable location, because of 
"Mz^J. the building acti\ities throughout that sec- 
tion of the countn-, and its rapid growth. 

.■\n \ .iiw c: o-j.t Los Angeles plant. 

.An independent company was formed, with Mr. 
Charles L. Hilgartner as President, Mr. Charles E. Hil- 
gartner as \'ice-President and Mr. Louis Hilgartner 
Dapprich as Second \ 'ice-President and General Man- 

Mr. Dapprich had learned the marble business w ith 
the Baltimore company, and had afterw ards been their 
Chicago representative for a period of years. 


A tract of land of eleven acres on the outskirts of Los 
Angeles was acquired, with exceptional railroad facil- 
ities, and upon this site a most complete marble plant 
was constructed. Modern machinery was installed and 
the latest methods of marble fabrication were adopted. 
The illustrations on this and the preceding page give 
an adequate idea of the completness of this mill. 

Since its organization, the Hilgartner Marble Com- 
pany of Los Angeles has successfully completed a num- 
ber of very important contracts, some of which are 
shown in the latter pages of this book. These are 
evidence of this plant's ability to execute any marble 
work that may develop in the building field. 

The close connection between the Baltimore and Los 
Angeles mills gives an advantage to each plant in 
service that effectively covers any part of the United 

The yard of our 
Los Angeles plant. 






Main entrance lobby of Standard Oil Company's Building, Baltimore. 
A magnificent marble treatment— a combination of both beauty and 
stability. In this construction permanence and dependability 
have not been subordinated to decorativeness. The floors 
are of Tennessee marble with Black and Gold for the 
base. Tavernelle Fleuri marble was used for the 
wainscoting from floor to ceiling. The col- 
umns are also Tavernelle. Clyde N. Friz, 
Architect, Baltimore, Maryland. 


Richmond 1 

Ciintun and Ru»:kcil. Att^ilccl^ 

private •« • 

A corner of the main banking room of the National Bank ot Baltimore. Bot- 

ticino and Tennessee marbles were used to express the architects" ideas. 

C. B. French, New York, and T. W. Pietsch, Baltimore, Architects. 

Banking room of Citizens National Bank. Baltimore. The columns and 

counters are Rose Tavernelle marble; the floor is Tennessee marble. L,raham. 

Anderson, Probst & White, Chicago, Architects. 


Lobby of the Pershing Square Building. Los Angeles, California. The 
floor is of Travertine tile; the walls are of Golden Vein St. Gene- 
vieve marble. Curlet and Beebman, Architects. 


The lobby of the Tivoli Theater, Washington, D.C. Siena marble was used lur 

the wainscoting and columns; York Fossil for the base. 

Thomas Lamb, New York, Architect. 

Interior of the War Memorial. Baltimore. Travertine, Tavc-n i 

Belgian Black and Red Ark Fossil marbles were used in this striking 
treatment. Laurence Hall Fowler. Baltimore, Architect. 


Jewelry store o I .^ ... and C^o . Lo- An^^clL"^, Californi.j 1 he lir^i (Kj<jr 

up to the balcony supports is of Black and Gold marble — a v ery elec- 
tive treatment. L. and E. Manuel, San Francisco, Architect. 

:>iairwav oi iavcrncllc marble in the Maryland Historical Society 
Building, Baltimore W'yait and Nolting. "Baltimore. Architects. 


In this grand stairway of the Maryland Institute, Baltimore, marbles from 

Tennessee, Alabama, Africa and Greece were used. The monolithic 

columns are of Numidian marble. Pell and Corbett, of New 

York, Architects. 



lavcrncllc and Unntssec marDic viu.iwuv irom Safe Deposit 
Department to main banking floor. Citizens National Bank, 
Baltimore. Graham. Anderson. Probst tV White, 
Chicago. Architects. 

Stair Hall in the US Chamber of Commerce Building, Washingtc^n I ) C ; Ihc fl<x>r 

IS Travertine, the walls of Pouillcnay Rose. l>»c twist in the Mnng oi thc 

stairway is one solid piece of marble Cass Gilbert, New York, Architect 


An unusual door in the Law Building. Norfolk, 
Virginia. Tinos marble was used for this 
fine entranceway. Peebles and Fergu- 
son, of Norfolk. Virginia, were the 



Thl"» doorway of the National Bank of Baltimore w«« huilt of 
Pink Tcnnc^vrc marble with B'' -*' '^ f - 

The architects were C B ' 
ii (>j . Inc .of New Y- 

Piet!ich, of Bakimufw 


Palm CouM li. lii^ uvooy v/» ui.^ :>Lv .lower Hotel, Washington, D.C. 

The marble fountain is the chiet feature of this room. Warren 

and Wetmore, New York, Architects; Robert F. 

Beresford. Associate Architect. 

^m^mjr ^■. ^. M 

Fountain in the garden of Mr. August Kiel at Milford, Pennsylvania. Italian marble 
was used for the statue, and Alabama marble for the pjedestal and basin. 

— ■- - . ■ ■ ^-: 


This striking Gothic 
mantel of Hautcville 
marble was made for 
the residence of D. S. 
Blossom, Cleveland, 
Ohio. It was designed 
by Abram Garfield, 
Architect. of Cleveland, 
and fabricated in this 

A simple but beautiful 
mantel in the home of 
N'trs. S. T. Bland. West 
Point, Virginia, built in 
accordance with our own 
design. The marble is 
Second Statuar>'. 


A magnificent mantel in the 
home of Mr. E. H. Everett, 
Washington, D. C. Oakley 
Totten, Jr.. of Washington, 
was the architect. Silver Gray 
Siena was used throughout. 

Another mantel in Mr. 
Everett's Washington 
residence, designed by 
Oakley Totten. Jr.. 
Second Statuary was 
the material 


A mantel in the home of Mr. H. B. Gilpin, 
Scaleby, Clark County, Virginia; designed by 
Howard Sill, Architect, Baltimore. Blanco P, 
a white marble from Italy, and Siena facing 
were used, with W'edgewood inlays. 

A ii\ing-rc>c>m manici in tnc home oi \ir n. 

M. Mc.Aden. Charlotte, North Carolina, from 

plans of our own design. The material is 

Second Statuar>- marble, with an 

antique finish. 


A monument in Loudon Park Cemetery. Baltimore, of 
Westerly granite, executed from our own design. 

The Frick Monument in Grccnmount (:emcter> . Baltimore. 
Alabama marble was used for this dignified creation. 
John Russel Pope. New York. Architect. 



'.: ,ARBLE retains its original beauty longer 

Mthan any building material known, but for 
this very reason it is frequently allowed to 
,_^ ^ . , stand without cleaning amid the dirt of the 
modern city. Naturally the surface, in course of time, 
is bound to accumulate a coating of foreign matter that 
detracts considerably from its appearance. But, where 
other materials would be permanently marred by such 
neglect, marble may be readily restored to its pristine 
freshness. It is, however, much the wiser plan to give 
the marble the same frequent attention that one would 
give to the paint or woodwork. It is more economical 
in the end and certainly the charm of the stone deserves 

It also frequently happens that those who attempt to 
keep marble clean are ignorant of the proper treatment. 
The following suggestions should therefore prove inval- 
uable to those who have charge of structures containing 


Polished marble should be cleaned weekly, or at least 
once a month. Grease, dirt and dust will collect on the 
surface and if not removed will result in a cloudy film 
and cause discoloration. Clean water and clean rags 
are all that is necessary as a rule. Occasionally a little 
mild alkali should be added to the water to remove the 
greasy film just spoken of. It is well to wash the marble 
with sponges and dry with a soft cloth. A little Javelle 
water added to the water used in cleansing is useful, not 
only for its cleansing properties but for its qualities as 
a disinfectant. 

Polished marble should be wiped dry after washing 
and then rubbed vigorously with a soft w^oolen cloth, 
cheese cloth, white cotton waste or chamois skin. This 
prevents streaks which might be left from dirt in the 
wash water. 

Never use an acid on marble. Neither should soaps, 
soft soaps, soap powder, scouring bricks nor harsh 
abrasives be employed, as they are often of a caustic 
nature and they may contain impurities which will 
bring about discoloration. Usually, they are not readily 
rinsible and, therefore, leave a film which will act as a 
binder for dust and dirt. Harsh abrasives destroy the 
polish. (Not only should you guard the front of the 
slab from things that will cause injury, but you should 
also be sure that there are no foreign substances on the 
back, the stains from which may work their way to the 
surface.) Do not use soap, nor any cleaning powder 
containing soap. 

The persistent use of soap will finally leave a film 
upon the surface of any wall or floor finish; this film 
forms in spite of thorough rinsing. It will make floors 
slippery and will finally cause a superficial oily appear- 
ance in delicately colored marbles, which detracts 
greatly from their appearance. 


For cleaning marble floors, water with a little alkali, 
together with some scouring agent like diatomaceous 
earth, is a good combination. There are proprietary 
preparations which unite the necessary ingredients; 
some of them, however, contain soap and should be 
avoided or at least adopted only after it has been 
demonstrated that they have been freed of the objec- 
tionable qualities of soap. 

In sweeping marble floors, white pine sawdust is very 


satisfactory. A\'oid sawdusts made from oak or other 
woods, also prepared sweeping compounds and oiled 
mops. They are likely to produce stains. 

As marble (except Verde Antique) is essentially cal- 
cium carbonate (or sometimes calcium magnesium car- 
bonate), acids should not be used in cleaning it. 

If oil, ink or other substance likely to discolor marble 
is dropped or splashed on it, prompt action will greatly 
diminish the trouble of removing it. Even the thinnest 
of fluids will penetrate marble but slowly, and prompt 
application of absorbent rags or paper is often all that 
is needed. 


If several hours or days have elapsed, other measures 
are required. Any organic coloring matter can be 
bleached out by persistent application of rags or blot- 
ting paper moistened with Javelle water; any alkaline 
or non-acid bleaching agent may be applied to marble 
without injury; the same is true of any solvent except 
acids and soap solutions. 

The only known stain that will penetrate marble and 
that cannot be removed is iron rust. Rust will not 
penetrate unless the marble is in contact with rusting 
iron for a long time; under such circumstances there is 
an affinity which produces what seems almost a solid 
solution. No interior marble will e\'er be stained with 
iron rust if, in setting, it is kept free from contact with 
pipes or other iron or steel parts of the structure. 

If grease or oil is promptly removed, no penetration 
will occur. If left for some time, grease stains may re- 
main. They can be removed in a number of wa\'S. 
Clean white blotting paper applied to the stain and 
heated with a hot iron; clean rags or waste or a pat of 
plaster of Paris kept saturated with gasoline and in 
contact with the grease stain (airplane gasoline is the 

most effective) ; a little quicklime slacked in contact 
with the stain; dry Portland cement kept in contact 
with the spot for several hours or a day or more ; ex- 
posure to direct sunlight where possible; all these meth- 
ods are effective. Sometimes, one is more effective, 
sometimes another. 

With ordinary care and attention nothing should ever 
happen to require the use of any of these methods. 
Prompt action in case of accidental application of 
grease, ink or similar substances, will prevent staining. 
As for iron rust, one would have to inspect hundreds of 
buildings and hundreds of thousands of square feet of 
marble for every instance found. Marble may become 
dingy and apparently stained from sheer neglect, es- 
pecially in basements and toilet rooms; but even in such 
case, it may always be restored to its pristine freshness 
by the application of Javelle water or by use of one of 
the methods mentioned above, either with or without 
Javelle water. 

The only thing really needed is a moderate amount of 
care and attention from the beginning. The marble will 
then continue clean and fresh and no elaborate methods 
will be required.